Don't Miss Out: 9 Steps To Save Your Holiday Weekend

Get outside and leave the netflix marathon for your sick days

By: Grant Nyquist
May 15, 2015

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If you’re like us, that holiday weekend you’ve been looking forward to for weeks sneaks up on you every time. You get the text from your partner in crime, “hey what are we doing this weekend?!” and you panic as you realize you have absolutely no idea. The pressure to take advantage of a three day weekend, and more importantly, the Fear Of Missing Out on the next great outdoor adventure, is something we can all identify with. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of that upcoming holiday weekend, even if you, like us, have a Bachelor's, Master's, and PHD in procrastination.

Photo: Dustin Landon

1. Blow off work

What's better than a three day weekend? A four day weekend. That’s what. The thing about long holiday weekends, is everyone has the long weekend and everyone is trying to get out of town. Beat the rush by taking an extra day off the day before or after the long weekend. If you don’t have any vacation days...cough, cough...sounds like you’re coming down with something.

2. Assemble your crew

Keep the crew to no more than a car full. In all honesty, a solo trip or just you and your PIC is ideal for a last minute trip. Fewer opinions means faster decisions and generally higher punctuality. This will help you get out of town faster and execute everything along the way more efficiently. That said, the more the merrier!

3. Avoid the major attractions

The National Parks are "America's best idea," but going to a National or even State Park on a holiday weekend is actually the worst idea. Avoid these places and any other popular or tourist destinations like you avoided your boss the day before catching that nasty cold.

4. BLM

Remember these three letters like they are digits in your social security number. The Bureau of Land Management is a godsend to the last minute, no plans, throw your gear in the car and GO camper. The majority of BLM land is open to public use, including camping. No reservation needed. Camp wherever. Good stuff.

5. Map out your highlights

Get the group to focus on the key 3-5 things you have to see, lakes you have to swim, or mountains you have to climb. Make those the priority and get everyone in the group to signoff. This will help give some structure to the trip and hopefully shorten everyone's bucket list.

6. Stock up for the drive

Hit the market before you take off. There’s nothing worse than having to pull over too often or not having the treats you’ve earned form a hard week of work. Go ahead, get that big bag of gummy bears.

7. Divide and conquer

The planning needed for a last minute trip can seem daunting. Break up responsibilities so nobody is overwhelmed beforehand or feels responsible for guiding everyone throughout the entire trip. Teamwork makes the dream work.

8. Have an open mind

Who are we kidding? We can give you all the advice in the world, but a last minute trip like this will be full of bumps and maybe even some bruises. You'll look back on that sleepless night in the car on the side of the road fondly when juxtaposed with the amazing adventures you went on the next day. Keep a positive attitude and focus on getting outside and having fun.

9. Can't Mobilize the group? Keep it local

Ok, so you pushed and prodded to get the group going. You came up with more than a handful of great ideas and had the whole weekend mapped out, but things unfortunately fell apart. It happens, we get it. But, don't let that stop you from getting outside and enjoying your weekend. Pick a few of your favorite local adventures, or those ones you've always been meaning to do and go out and enjoy them! At the end of the day, the weekend is made for getting outside and having a good time however you accomplish it, right?

Photo: Eric Bennett

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.